Arsenal could be in for an extremely busy transfer deadline day.
Arsenal have plenty of unresolved situations to tie up before the transfer window closes at 11pm UK time tonight.
Much of the focus at the north London club will be on player departures. The Gunners are currently carrying a bloated first team squad. However, they must also learn one key lesson from last season and ensure that they have enough quality strength in depth to get them through the campaign.
Ultimately, a lack of quality rotation options cost Arsenal in their title challenge last time out.
Here are three things Arsenal must get done before the end of transfer deadline day.
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Replace Jurrien Timber
Arsenal paid £38 million to sign Jurrien Timber from Ajax this summer, and the early signs suggested the Gunners had picked up a gem in the versatile defender. However, an ACL injury sustained in the first Premier League match of the season has cruelly ruled the Dutchman out for the majority of his maiden campaign in English football.
Timber offered cover in every position across the back line. With Kieran Tierney gone, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu injury prone, and Rob Holding likely to leave, additional cover at the back is required.
Long-term Arteta target Eric Garcia, on a loan deal from Barcelona, looks like the most likely candidate to come in and bolster the Arsenal back line this season, as reported by The Daily Star. However, an internal solution is also possible, which leads us on to…
Decide fate of young prospects
The likes of full-back Lino Sousa, midfielder Miguel Azeez, and forward Amario Cozier-Duberry are crying out for loan moves. Centre-back Reuell Walters may also be due a temporary stint away from the Emirates Stadium. However, the 18-year-old could also be kept around as part of Arteta’s first team squad.
The youngster is full of talent and has excelled in training. Zinchenko recently named Walters as the most impressive youngster at the club, and told of how he outmuscled Gabriel Jesus whilst training with the senior group. The teenager can also operate at right-back, as well as in the heart of the defence, and looks well-suited to Arteta’s preferred style of play.
Walters may be due his Arsenal debut this season, and could even feature more heavily than expected given Timber’s absence.
Beyond that, though, Per Mertesacker and his academy team need to be working on loan moves for the promising youngsters on the Gunners’ books.
Clear the deadwood
Whilst Mertesacker is moving out young prospects, Edu needs to be clearing the decks at first team level. Moves need to be found for the likes of Holding, Nicolas Pepe, Cedric Soares, Albert Sambi Lokonga, and Nuno Tavares, none of whom are in Arteta’s plans.
There needs to be a greater exodus than that, though.
Some transfer windows around the world, such as the Saudi Arabian one, remain open after the English window has shut. Therefore, it may not be a disaster if a few of these players remain at Arsenal beyond 11pm tonight. There could still be time to move them on.